An Open Letter to Patient’s Relatives.

Dear Patients’ Relatives

We are pretty flexible when it comes to visiting hours;  3pm until 8pm every day is pretty generous, especially as we also allow visiting outside of these hours for many other circumstances. This enables most of you time to spend with your loved ones.

We do ask you to remember however, that we appreciate how special your relative is to you, but so is every other patient on the ward. Sometimes we have to prioritize, and yes, we will plump your mum’s pillow up for her, but please, just let us deal with this patient first who is hemorrhaging.

We know your father might have told you that he hasn’t eaten today, but before you berate us loudly in front of everyone, let me show you his food chart, where you can see that he ate all of his porridge for breakfast and had a roast beef dinner for lunch, not to mention rhubarb crumble for pudding! You know he has short-term memory problems and often forgets, so please just check with us.

Oh, I know your nan has just had an ‘accident.’ I am just going to get some of our toiletries and a hospital gown as it seems that no-one has brought any in for her. Yes, we do have a small supply, but we tend to save these for those that don’t have any visitors or family to look out for them.

I understand that you want to help and in so many cases you do, especially when you encourage your relatives to eat, which they are more likely to do for you than us. Please be careful though that you do not give other patients some chocolate or sweets, as you may unintentionally cause them some problems, particularly if they are diabetic and are being carefully monitored, or if they have swallowing difficulties and need a special diet, or are even nil by mouth.

We love to see our patients happy and enjoying their time with you. All we ask is that, if there is something troubling you, please come and speak to us, before yelling. We are doing our best you know, and all patients are as important to us, as your relative is to you. sometimes, especially, when we are so very understaffed, we have to prioritize our care,so please have a little patience…

Keep Calm!

From The Nursing Staff

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38 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Patient’s Relatives.

  1. This is so priceless. It should be made into a big roller banner and put at the front of the hospital for the patients relatives. Quite alright, nobody likes to fall sick and end up at the hospital but sometimes, patients as well as their relatives can get real rude. I have been a witness to the rotten behaviour of some people a time or two. It is not as if the nursing staff are responsible for the persons condition. Even though there are some bad nurses, the majority are good hearted people who go above and beyond their call of duty at times to care for us.

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  2. I have been on both sides of this, Edwina. First as an Activity Director years ago in a nursing home. So much of the understaffing (at least here in the states) is due to p*ss poor wages for nurses aides who ultimately are the one’s who wipe butts and feed patients. Very hard job. My mom and mom-in-law are both in different nursing homes. Does my mom’s stuff get stolen? yes. Does my forgetful mom lose things, yes. I loved your post and it makes me sad to see the atrocious state of care of our beloved elders in our society.

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    1. It is true that Nurses and Nursing assistants get poorly paid. It is tough work but it can be so very rewarding which is why so many of us do it. We just ask for a bit of respect from the relatives, that’s all 🙂
      Thanks so much for your comments.

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  3. Oh bless you Judy! I know you, as the staff there, try your hardest, but there are those who forget that there are many patients, not just their relative, who need looking after. What a lovely, polite letter of reminder!

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  4. I totally understand that, Judy! I remember my mother in-law who always complained although she really got the best care! You and your collegues are doing such a hard job and also have to deal with grumpy patients and their relatives. I really honor you!!!

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  5. I don’t think I’d have the patience to deal with that. My penchant for sarcasm loves to come out at just those moments. Or sarcasm mixed with light humour. Bless you Judy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That was so funny, but I know you wrote it to be funny while being ever too true! I have always had good nurses. I’ve had some bad experience with ultrasound techs, ER nurses, a student doctor, and even an orthopedist, but when it comes to a stay in the hospital, I’ve been very well cared for, as has my family. These are all good points, especially the We’ll get right to mum’s pillow after we stop this hemorrhage bit — LOL! 😀

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    1. I had a really frantic weekend and the last thing we needed was people asking about plumping up pillows! We do try our best bit there is no pleasing some people. Glad your hospital stays have been positive ones with good care given 😊

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  7. Great information. I’ve been on both sides of the bed, no not as you! Patient in a rehab, and visitor. You ladies rock!! I’ve only had 1 person who acted like she hated the world. Everyone else I ever met was so caring and compassionate, it makes the pain easier to bear. Keep on doing the excellent work, and caring! Thanks from all patients everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yikes! I yelled at a hospital admin who tried to defend a bitchy nurse who want answering the call light for Hannah to use the bathroom in 15 minutes for the third time. I told her that either I would help her to it, or she needed to get someone in there faster or else Hannah would try in her own and hurt herself or rip out her IV. She was very rude about it and said they were understaffed. So I went to the admin and told them to staff properly, let me help her, or face a malpractice suit. They changed nurse mid-shift to a total sweetheart and called in more people.

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